Protecting Your Business No Matter What You’re Working On
Handymen/handypeople who do it all need coverage that protects them from risks that they may be exposed to on the job. You’re painting one day and cleaning gutters the next. Make sure to get a package of coverage that is as broad as the list of things you do:
- Fence and deck repair
- Swimming pool maintenance
- Lawn and yardwork
- Installing doorknobs and other hardware
- Light plumbing work
- Furniture repair/refinishing
- Junk removal
- Exterior window cleaning and repair
- Driveway sealing
- Hanging art and window coverings
- Floor installation
- Furniture assembly
- Installing garage door openers
- Fireplace and chimney cleaning
- Dryer vent cleaning
- Gutter maintenance, cleaning and repair
- Mounting TVs and installing shelving
- Painting & drywall work
(Note that handypeople who are not licensed electricians cannot legally carry out electrical work, and so cannot be insured for this kind of work.)
Despite your vigilance when it comes to upholding the most meticulous quality and safety standards, there is always a chance a customer or third party could sue you if they think that the job you have done has resulted in injury or property damage. Liability insurance can help protect you from lawsuits that could otherwise cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. Insurance can also help protect your vehicles, tools and other property as a handyman.
Handyman Insurance Questions to Ask
You face different exposures than other contracting businesses. When you are shopping around for handyman insurance, consider the following:
- Do you have a company vehicle to haul supplies or drive from job-to-job?
- If you couldn’t work for a few months, could you make ends meet?
- Do you manage your business from home or do you have a shop or office?
- Could you afford to pay for a lawyer if you got sued by a client?
Whatever the particulars of your business, we have a package of insurance to suit your needs.
The Handyperson Insurance Package
CGL Insurance Helps You Get the Job
In Ontario, handyman work can be rather competitive. Stand out by getting commercial general liability coverage, and showing potential clients that they are protected from any damage or injury you might accidentally cause while on the job. In some cases, especially if you’re looking for work as a subcontractor, CGL may be a requirement.
Commercial Auto Insurance – Look Into It
Look, we know that a lot of handymen use their own van or pickup as their work vehicle. If that’s you, hey, we understand if you just want to keep your truck insured as your personal vehicle. You should be aware, though, that there are a number of situations that could come up that might leave you exposed to major losses. For instance, if you told your personal auto insurer that you don’t use your vehicle for work, but it has a company logo, website or phone number listed on the door, that could void your insurance if you get in an accident. Same thing could happen if your tools are stolen from the vehicle.
At a minimum, you need to let your personal auto insurer know that you use the vehicle for work. There’s usually very little difference in price between personal and commercial use, if any. Your best bet is to at least get a quote on commercial auto insurance. In some cases, it might even be cheaper than what you’re paying for your personal auto insurance…plus you’ll sleep better knowing you’re properly insured.
Property Insurance – Things to Consider
Most handyman businesses don’t have a physical location, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need property insurance. Tools and equipment insurance is a type of property insurance that you’ll find essential. Also, if you’re managing your business from home, you’ll want to tell your home insurer about it. It may not cost any more, but if you keep business-related supplies like paint, flooring etc. at your home, those won’t be covered by a typical home insurance policy.
Tools and Equipment Insurance is a Must
As a handyperson, you rely on the tools and equipment you use every day to get the job done. Hammers, drills, ladders, levels, power saws, blowers, workbenches and more. If they were stolen or lost in a fire, you wouldn’t be able to do your work. Tools and equipment insurance not only will replace your essential tools if they’re lost, it will even pay for rentals so you can keep working while your claim is underway.
Cyber Insurance is For Every Business
You may have heard about cyber insurance, and you may have said to yourself, my business isn’t a cyber business, I don’t need cyber insurance. Well, if you have a website, if you have a social media presence, or if you keep sensitive client information on a computer or in the cloud, then you need cyber insurance to protect you in the event that customer data becomes exposed to online fraudsters, or if someone decides to sue your business for something you did or said online.
What is included in handyman insurance?
Most handyman businesses would have an insurance package that covers the following:
- Commercial General Liability (CGL) – Pays your legal bills and any settlement or court award if you are sued for an injury or damage to property.
- Property Coverage – Covers your tools and equipment from theft, fire, and certain types of water damage. If you have an office or shop, this would cover the unit and its contents as well.
- Commercial Auto Insurance – Protects your work truck/van and provides similar coverage to personal auto insurance.
- Cyber Insurance – Protects you if you’re sued for loss of customer data or if you suffer losses because your web presence is hacked.
How much does it cost to have handyman insurance?
Depending on several factors, the cost of handyman insurance in Ontario can start as low as $67 a month. The following factors can affect the price:
If cost is a concern, you may be able to reduce your premiums by opting for lower limits and increasing your deductible.
As a handyman, do I need to have insurance?
- You are a subcontractor and need to show proof of insurance to acquire work from a general contractor
- A client may require proof of insurance
- You require a business loan and your bank needs proof of insurance
Are my tools covered by handyman insurance?
Tools and equipment insurance is part of most handyman policies, and can pay to replace your tools if they are lost, damaged, destroyed, or stolen.
Do subcontractors need to carry separate insurance policies?
If you are a handyman working as a subcontractor, the main contractor will almost always ask to see proof of insurance. Usually you’ll need at least $1 million in CGL coverage.
Is my work truck/van covered by my handyman insurance?
If you have a truck that you use to haul tools, supplies and equipment back and forth to job sites, or if you have commercial signage on the vehicle, even if it’s not owned by the business, then you should have commercial auto insurance on that vehicle as part of your package.